Several days ago, I told you a little about my identity as “The Welfare Kid,” Then I promised to tell you “tomorrow” about another Christmas experience that was even more revealing of how I saw myself. Well, here it is: better late than never.
Who doesn’t love a shopping spree?
Especially if the tab is paid with someone else’s bank account?
They picked us up on a city bus early one Saturday morning in December. Kids. Poor kids. Lots and lots of poor kids. We arrived at a discount store in the south part of town 2 hours before it was scheduled to open.
I don’t remember what the guidelines were, but I do remember that we were allowed to choose gifts for ourselves. Multiple gifts.
A very nice lady followed me all around the store, making suggestions. Other kids had piles of stuff in their carts. But I showed up at the checkout with a cotton blouse and a pair of slacks. Not the most practical for a Kansas winter. But inexpensive.
Because my mom had taught me never to ask for anything. Ever.
And to me – choosing stuff for myself without paying for it?
Well, it felt like asking. Which made me uncomfortable.
They were expecting me to break one of the most important Rules of Life: Don’t ask.
And I naturally assumed God Himself
had written those particular Rules of Life.
As I got older, some of the Scriptures confused me because they didn’t fit with what my mom taught me – or even what my church taught me.
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” (Matthew 7:7-8)
You do not have because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures. (James 4:2b-3)
Honestly, I still struggle with all that today. But I want to believe God’s Word.
What is it that you’re hoping for today?
Have you asked The Lord?
He will never violate another person’s will, of course. But it sounds pretty much like everything else is a possibility.
“Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.” (John 14:12-14)